According to the census, in October 2014, over 48 million citizens in the United States are living in poverty. The National Center for Children in Poverty states that 22% or 1 in 4 children in the United States live in poverty. According to a recent report by Russia Today, poverty stricken neighborhoods in the United States have tripled.
If you read the mainstream news regarding employment, you’d think things are improving…they’re not. How unemployment is measured has been changed to conceal the stark facts. The mainstream altered measurement shows unemployment at 5.8%. However, if unemployment were measured as it was under the U-6, a more accurate measure, it’s over 11%.
Since 2004, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national labor participation rate has gone down from 66% to 63% in 2014, or put another way, 9.6 million working age citizens in the United States have given up looking for work. The National Employment Law Project reports that 44% of new job creation since the 2007 recession was in low wage industries and there are two million fewer jobs today than prior to the 2007 recession.
Crime on the Rise
In October 2013, USAToday reported the national crime rate is rising. In 2012 there was a 15% increase in reported violent crime. Property crime rose by 12%. While some argue for stricter punishments, the United States jails more people than any two other countries in the world combined.
Yet, many citizens in the United States incorrectly think the crime rate is going down. Reuters reported in 2013 that 64% of people think crime is on the rise, down from 68% in 2011. As inequality rises, so does the violent crime rate.
Now people have taken to their grievances to the streets. While everyone’s heard of the Ferguson protests and the Occupy movement, people are protesting inequality across the board. In Seattle, mortgage eviction protests protected a disabled veteran from losing his home.
People are tired of multinational private corporations and banks having almost total control of their lives. When the system continues to work in favor of Wall Street over the rest of us, for many, their only recourse is protest and civil disobedience. Income inequality is the civil rights issue of our generation. Every other social issue in the United States stems from the continued rise of income inequality. Even if we have comfortable homes with good jobs, that’s no guarantee that we won’t be victimized by some desperate person who had their life ruined by Wall Street. It affects all of us. It’s in everyone’s interest to stand against income inequality, wherever they see it. Standing on the sidelines and not doing so only makes the issue worse.